FTWCCU Counterfeit Cashier's Check Scam

Don’t Be a Victim … Be Crime Smart!

We’ve been notified by several individuals located in different areas in the U.S. that they’ve received a FTWCCU Cashier’s Check in the mail (usually sent in an USPS Priority Mail envelope) along with an “Instruction/Guide” letter addressed to “Prospective Shopper” telling them that the check is for payment for a job they applied for online.  These checks are NOT legitimate!  This is a counterfeit cashier’s check scam that you need to be aware of.  If you think you’ve been a victim of check fraud, please contact FTWCCU immediately at (800) 817-8234 or by email at ftwccu@ftwccu.org. Don’t be a victim.  Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

There are many variations of counterfeit check scams, and technology allows crooks to easily create realistic looking cashier’s checks, personal checks, business checks or money orders.  The scam could start with someone giving you an “advance” on a sweepstakes you’ve supposedly won, or a work-from-home offer or by asking you to help a family in a foreign country by transferring funds to your account for safekeeping.  Whatever the pitch, don’t get caught with your guard down.

Here are some tips that will help you avoid becoming the victim of a counterfeit check scam:

  • Shred any offer that asks you to pay for a prize or a gift. Legitimate sweepstakes offer consumers a chance to win a prize or money with no purchase or entry fee required.
  • Know who you’re dealing with, and never wire money or send a check to strangers. If you must send a check, consider sending a Money Order instead of your own personal check in order to keep yourpersonal information safe.
  • Watch out for any lottery, secret mystery shopper or business offer that involves you receiving a check and requires you to send money byMoneyGram or Western Union.
  • If you’re selling something, don’t accept a check for more than the selling price, no matter how tempting the offer or how convincing the story. Ask the buyer to write the check for the exact amount. If the buyer refuses to send the exact amount, don’t send the merchandise or a refund.
  • Resist pressure to act immediately. Any legitimate offer should still be good after the check clears.
  • If you're concerned about the validity of a check, either contact the financial institution by telephone or take the check to the local branch office of that institution.
  • Watch out for any job opportunity that asks you to be a money transfer agent. Legitimate businesses should not ask you to deposit their checks into your personal account, then instruct you to forward the funds by wire or send by MoneyGram/Western Union to other individuals or to accounts in other countries.
  • It’s best not to rely on money from any type of check unless you know that the check has cleared. Forgeries can take time to be returned through the banking system. Remember that you are responsible for any checks deposited to your account.
  • Monitor your checking account activity carefully.

If you think you’re a victim of a check fraud scheme or if you notice something suspicious report it immediately. Contact your financial institution as well as the local police department or your local FBI field office.